Does The Design Of Your Website Support Accessibility?

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Good website accessibility means many things today. It means having a web design that works on many different devices without losing function. It also means the ability to be used by all types of viewers. With billions of people using the internet today, designers must take into consideration that not all of them can easily negotiate a website. Total accessibility for all, including those who may require assistance provided from conscientious web design, is important for users and for website owners.

What Is Website Accessibility?

Website accessibility is website responsiveness, a design that enables as many people as possible to use that site – regardless of the device used for viewing or any personal limitations. This includes readers with vision, hearing, and motor skill impairments, which accounts for a population of internet users that numbers well above 50 million. In order to include these millions of users and allow equal access to a website, a web design must consider things like browser limitations and design elements that can either add to or detract from user experience. Sites must be created that are more accessible by all.

Why Website Accessibility Is Important

There are actually quite a few reasons why this kind of website accessibility is important, many of which are overlooked. For some web pages, designing a site so those who require some kind of assistance is a legal concern, since not doing this would exclude viewers with certain impairments. These sites include government websites, organizations who receive federal financing, educational websites, and even some businesses.  Website accessibility now falls under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and a complaint could be filed about a site that is not user-friendly.

This is the more obvious reason why websites must be accessible by all; however, another reason is its effectiveness. Businesses with websites designed to be accessible to all have the benefit of capturing an audience that may not be well-serviced by competitors’ websites. This can increase conversions due to increased traffic and improve SEO results. Web design that considers various impairments makes a positive impression in a world where many with such impairments struggle viewing a website. Total customer satisfaction, and great user experience, takes all of this into consideration.

How to Increase Website Accessibility

There are a number of ideas that can be incorporated into any web design so a website is more accessible to those who may have certain difficulties using the internet. Responsive design is a main component in doing just that. While responsive design is useful for keeping a site usable on smaller-sized screens, it does the same on larger screens also. This is helpful for those who are visually impaired, or who require a larger layout due to less precise motor skills. Responsive web design tends to be less complex with larger body text, easier navigation, and larger action buttons – all of which help those who are vision or motor impaired.

Offering video and audio versions of important content is also helpful to those who are visually impaired, as does making sure there are video and audio transcribed copies available for anyone who is hearing impaired. Additionally, websites that are touch enabled offer better function to those who require a touch screen rather than a mouse due to reduced motor skills.

The most important thing for web designers to understand is that accessibility is more than designing a website to be viewed on a variety of devices. Universal accessibility includes considering those with special needs and give them the best user experience possible. With the right web design decisions, this is easy to accomplish!

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